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What jobs could I find with a GIS Geography major?

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Joe’s Answer

Hey there.

I graduated from Syracuse University in 2017 with a BA in Geography. I wasn't able to major directly in GIS as my university didn't have that specific major, the GIS classes were included directly within the Geography department.

Right out of college, I applied to the Esri Internship (the company that makes the most widely used GIS software) and I ended up getting a 3 month internship. Afterwards, I moved over to Esri Support Services where I spent 2.5 years troubleshooting all aspects of the software (ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise, Collector, Survey123). This experience has single handedly help shape my career moving forward.

Currently work at an insurance company where I'm working with Natural Hazard Models to help identify parcels that will be at risk during a catastrophe (wildfire, tornado, hurricane, lightning/hail). Other tasks include, creating maps for various sales personnel, creating user guides for new versions of GIS software that's released, etc.

There are a lot of jobs that are available within GIS, a lot of them will start off as an entry level Analyst. Since GIS is so widely used within government entities, I would also recommend trying to look for small municipalities that might be looking for an entry level analyst. A lot of the GIS industry is leveraging automation as well, so checking out Python integration in the GIS realm might be worthwhile.

All in all, if I can offer one last piece of advice, it would be that GIS is merely a tool. If you major in GIS, you could be siloing yourself in the long run. There are many different fields that integrate GIS to help identify business risks/needs. It may be worthwhile to try and look at the field of engineering, urban planning or healthcare to see how these industries also incorporate GIS.

Best of luck.

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Cynthia’s Answer

GIS is changing and so cool. I'm not a tech person but i've seen lots of options with our GIS minor at UC Davis. agriculture, engineering, environmental sciences, journalism, art, transportation services, real estate, water resources, data studies, etc etc.

Just in agriculture-- a big deal in California....GIS is used to map fields, with drones soil moisture is tracked and irrigation delivered based on GIS/Drone servcies. I've seen beneficial insects delivered strategically to fields in need. Harvests are planned using GIS and drone sensor reports.

Journalism/marketing/ real estate. How does a builder know how to situation their building on land? How do transportation departments lay out roads? Can news be reported more clearly with GIS data and drone viewpoints.

What about environmental sciences...The parks and land management departments at state and national level all need GIS experts with environmental sceince backgrounds to understand how drought or floods are impacting the land by measuring via GIS.

GIS is very tech/computer related...data driven research is using GIS data....drone skills are helpful for applications of all sorts. It's a fabulous skills set.

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Bernadette’s Answer

One of the easiest ways to answer a question on college degrees and jobs is to google ... "What Can You Do With a (name the major)

Below is an on-line resource with in depth information on jobs with a GIS Geography major including:

list of typical employers who employs GIS degree graduates

salary range from entry-level to senior

career outlook from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

I think you will find all the information very helpful.


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Kevin’s Answer

A lot of others have provided some very informative information to your question. I would also refer you to the US Government and local governments for jobs in this field. As mentioned in other responses this is becoming a field that really using technology like drones and satellite information about our land. You may also want to look hat some of the higher consultant firms that assist counties and the US government. Good luck in your search and I hope something written helps.

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Shreena’s Answer

Hi! A career in Geospatial Science is very versatile and interdisciplinary. GIS is being used in a lot of filed ranging from small nonprofits to large corporations. A major in geography allows you to be speaclized in a skill that is highly adaptable to different industries. Some of the different concentration within GIS is remote sensing, looking at imagery analysis, conservation GIS, areas in the public and health sector, as well as careers in the private sector such as insurance companies as a geospatial analyst. Traditionally, many people that I have talked to start their careers as a GIS technician and complete an internship related to GIS during college.

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Katie’s Answer

Hi! I hope this helps!

Entry Positions:
CAD Drafter
GIS Technician
Survey CAD Technician
Cartographic Technician
Land Survey Technician

Low to Mid-Range Jobs:
GIS Analyst
LiDAR Analyst
Geoint Analyst